I’ve thought for a long while now the direction in which I want to take this guide. I came to the conclusion that if you are this serious about making SNE – and you have read the first four parts of this guide and done the necessary calculations and taken everything into consideration that you should – that the best way to move forward would be to give you advice that will help your day to day grind.
There is a lot of information out there about planning for SNE. VPP rates. Charts. Back-up plans. Multi-tabling help. Breakeven points. Hourlies. I could go on. There really is a lot of information, and a lot of it is pretty good information. I feel no need to continue to add to that. What I have noticed lacking is advice that will help you after you’ve already started. When you’re in the middle of the year. Advice that can only come from experience and that will help you make it through with as healthy a bottom line and level of sanity as possible.
I have no specific order for what I want to post and my thoughts are likely to jump all over the place. These are just things that come to mind when I ask myself the question “What advice would you give to someone in their 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th month of SNE progress”? – of course the advice will be general in nature as everyone will be at different points of the chase depending on how the year has treated them up to those respective points. For this reason I have decided to split this part up into several sub-sections – I will add one thought/piece of advice per section and add to it over the coming weeks as new thoughts come to me. I also plan to have other veteran SNE’s drop by to share some of their wisdom too. I’m not arrogant enough to believe I know everything there is to know about SNE. Surely at least one person out there knows something I don’t.
Stick to your plan
The first thing to come to mind is to reiterate how important it is to stick to your plan. Everyone has made a plan by now – they know approximately (or perhaps even more definitely) how many hours per day and week they will play, at what stakes, and on how many tables. They know how often they will take days or weeks off. They know that they have accounted for a few days off in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. This is all well and good but it is far too easy to let yourself slip and when you slip just once things will often begin to snowball out of control.
The most often slip up is to take an unplanned day off or to relax in the amount of hours you are playing. The most dangerous time for this to happen is near the end of the year when your time is short. The most common yet still almost as dangerous time for it to happen is early in the year. This is because of the line of thinking “well I can take a little time off now and all I will need to do is play an extra 10 minutes a day for the last 11 months and I will still make it” or “I have days off for emergencies, I might as well take on now”. And when this happens once it is likely to happen again. A few of these instances strung together and all of a sudden “10 minutes a day extra” turns into another hour per day, or 2 more tables to play at once. While in and of themselves not catastrophic adjustments to have to make – consider the fact that later in the year you are likely to be more worn out and that is when you would prefer to be able to take it more easily.
You made your plan for a reason. Think ahead and take into consideration an excess of “off” days because, and trust me on this one, almost everyone wants and needs more than they plan for. SNE grinders are especially prone to burnout and planning days off in advance and taking them at a steady pace throughout the year (rather than a heavy grind for 6 months, 2 weeks off, then another heavy grind) will benefit you greatly.
Speaking of burnout, it is actually probably not beneficial to do the opposite of this either. That is to push yourself harder at the start of the year hoping to allow for more breaks towards the end. While a little bit of this is probably good (even beneficial), taking it too far (which is not hard to do for a solid grinder) will lead to burnout and result in poor play or more days off being required. As with most things in life: slow and steady wins the race. If you sprint or your “steady” is broken up with too many days off too often you are almost certain to have worse results than if you whacked on a shell and channelled the spirit of a tortoise.